At times Explo ’74, the five-day evangelistic training event sponsored last month in Seoul by Korea Campus Crusade for Christ (KCCC), seemed caught up in the swirling tides of national destiny. For example:
• Some 300,000 registrants—about 1 per cent of South Korea’s population and 10 per cent of its Christians—were offered training in personal evangelism, discipleship of others, and effective Christian living. Heavy newspaper and television coverage included interviews with KCCC head Kim Joon Gon (in Korea last names are listed first); with these 300,000, said Kim, Korea can become “Christianized” within a short time and be the springboard for reaching all of Asia for Christ.
• The week before Explo opened, ten of Korea’s top churchmen—including Explo’s honorary chairman, Dr. Han Kyung Chik, retired pastor of the huge Young Nak Presbyterian church, risked prison and possible death in petitioning President Park Chung Hee to restore democracy and to release persons arrested under his emergency decrees for criticizing the government. Those under arrest, about 250 in all, included Christian students, clergy, and laity. A week earlier, leaders of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), some of them involved in Explo, threatened demonstrations if Park failed to relent.
• During the week that Explo opened, some 1,000 Protestants gathered at Seoul’s Saemunan Presbyterian Church for a mild protest service based on the theme of liberation from all bondage. Also, 2,000 Catholics attended a mass to express their concern for Bishop Daniel Tji Hak Soun of Wonju, seized for allegedly helping to finance proposed student protests. But that same day stiff prison sentences were announced for Bishop Tji (fifteen years) and several other ...1
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